Last week, an off-duty sergeant was arrested on multiple charges including DUI, after allegedly driving an unmarked police car through the scene of a fatal crash on Interstate 25. Fortunately, no one was harmed as a result of the sergeant’s actions, but it is still cause for concern. It is a major problem if sworn law enforcement officers engage in drunk driving.
Since this particular case involved traffic interference, the attending officers chose to arrest the off-duty sergeant. Other instances where police arrest other police officers include accidents that cause injury and public disturbance.
Off-Duty Sergeant Drove Through the Highway Closure
The incident occurred on Wednesday, June 3rd at approximately 8:30 p.m. Officers were working on the scene of a fatal crash on the highway involving seven vehicles, two of which were motorcycles. Two of the motorcyclists identified as Jerry Essex, 32, and Alexander Djanfada, 25, succumbed to the severe injuries they sustained from the collision.
After the crash, authorities closed off all northbound lanes of the highway to traffic. While conducting their investigation, police saw a dark-colored Chevy driving toward the scene of the crash.
Somehow, the driver of the Chevy accessed the highway from the northbound onramp, disregarding the full closure. When the police stopped the driver, they were surprised to discover that the vehicle was an unmarked Denver Police Department car. The DUI driver, identified as Sgt. Bryce Robert Jackson, confirmed that he in fact was an officer for the Denver Police Department and that he was off duty.
Police with Greenwood Village immediately recognized signs that Jackson may have been intoxicated, so they began a DUI investigation.
Jackson had a handgun in his possession and had open containers of alcohol inside the vehicle. After being taken into custody, he refused to take a sobriety test and then refused a chemical test to determine his status. He also denied drinking any alcoholic beverages, despite the evidence against him.
Eventually, authorities arrested Jackson on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of weapons, careless driving and driving with an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. They booked him into the Arapahoe County Detention Center.
The investigation is ongoing.
Accountability and Defense for DUI Drivers
While we usually focus on civilian conduct in our blogs, it is equally necessary to discuss authorities’ poor decision making that have detrimental consequences as well. Police misconduct can take a variety of forms. Here, a policeman’s misbehavior put innocent lives at risk.
Officers are not above the law and should be held to the same standards as everyone else. Once liability on the part of Sgt. Jackson is made clear, good representation is needed to handle a DUI case like this. Good representation comes from qualified DUI defense attorneys that understand their clients’ needs and defend with experience.